Bureau of Land Management prepares for Idaho wildfire season

SOUTH BOISE, IDAHO — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is preparing its crews for Idaho's wildfire season. As the weather warms and summer heat dries forests, wildfires will become more common in the state.

  • The BLM recommends bringing a shovel, fire extinguisher and/or at least 5 gallons of water in a bucket when shooting on public lands to ensure you can responsibly extinguish any fires that are accidentally ignited.
  • Dragging trailer chains can also cause roadside fires.

(Below is the transcript of the broadcast report.)

Tuesday's stormy weather sparked two lightning-caused fires near Mountain Home, requiring BLM crews to respond.

“We currently have fire trucks deployed to each of these fires to control the fires and ensure they are extinguished,” said Chad Cline, Boise District BLM fire information officer.

He tells me that fires are more common this time of year.

“Usually you get man-made fires, you know, shootings, trailers dragging chains. That's what usually happens this time of year,” Cline says.

A wet spring helps the grass grow tall, but when the summer heat starts to dry everything out, the tall brush becomes conspicuous fuel.

“When we have that grass load, you know it's more susceptible to fire spreading through it, especially when wind comes along with it, and you know we've had some pretty windy days,” Cline added.

Cline told me that the BLM has a class of newcomers undergoing important training as crews prepare for the summer fire season.

“Yesterday was a good test to try out the new people and see how they all work together,” Cline says.

As for people who use public lands, Cline urges Idahoans to manage their land responsibly.

“Check your trailer bearings and chains, make sure campfires are out, and don't light fires on dry and hot days. And if you're shooting outside, make sure you follow current prevention regulations,” says Cline.

Anna Harden

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